Welcome to the first edition of 2015's Penn State in the NFL! This year, we're going to try and be much more consistent with this report, because there are a lot of Penn State alumni in the NFL that deserve to be spoken about. We're also going to change up the format of this post a bit. Instead of reporting every single stat line of every single player, we'll highlight the games that pitted multiple Penn Staters against each other (aka, whoever the Jaguars play each week), and other highlight performances.
If you have any suggestions as far as things to add to this report, please let us know in the comments. Thanks!
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Amos and Gould Shine as Chicago Can't Figure Out Green Bay
The Bears may not have been able to take down rival Green Bay in their home opener, but Adrian Amos and Robbie Gould both had nice days for Chicago.
Amos, of course, was making his first NFL start. Amos has been called out by many Bears analysts and fans as one of the keys to the team's defensive rebuild, and he made a good first impression on Sunday. Our Chicago Bears sister site, Windy City Gridiron, didn't have a ton to say about Amos, but here's what they put into writing.
"Adrian Amos stuck really well in his first game action, to be fair, and maybe the Bears have an actual player at safety."
On the day, Amos came up with 5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
Robbie Gould had a big day as well, drilling home field goals from 28 yards, 44 yards and 50 yards. In the process, Gould became Chicago's all time leader in field goals made. Congratulations, Robbie!
The Jacksonville Nittany Lions Fall to Carolina
For those who aren't aware, the Jacksonville Jaguars are essentially a retirement home for Nittany Lions when they move on to the NFL, at this point. Paul Posluszny, Stefan Wisniewski, Jared Odrick and Allen Robinson are all currently located in northeast Florida. Although those four, along with many other exciting players on the roster, may lead to good things in the future for the Jags, they're not quite there yet.
Allen Robinson would be held to 1 catch for 27 yards (although quarterback Blake Bortles missed him on what would have been a touchdown), after being forced to leave for part of the game due to injury.
Jared Odrick had a quiet day, tallying 3 tackles from his defensive tackle position.
Poz was the star of the group on Sunday, accumulating 9 tackles (8 solo), 2 passes defended and one beautiful interception.
Garry Gilliam Makes his First Start for Seattle, Hill Comes up Big
The Seahawks eventually lost to the St. Louis Rams in overtime, but Jordan Hill did what he could to keep the Hawks in the game. He only racked up 1 tackle on the day (Seattle rotates their defensive line as much as any team I've seen, even Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril don't put up huge numbers), but he also recovered a fumble on the day.
Gilliam was in tough spot, making his first NFL regular season start at right tackle against what is arguably the best defensive line in football. He wasn't perfect, but he held his own, and is still getting better with every snap. Hard to believe this is the same guy who was Penn State's third string tight end a few years ago.
IT'S MOXIE TIME
After Oakland Radiers starting quarterback, Derek Carr, left the game with an injury, things were left up to Matt "I've beaten out every single other quarterback you've brought to try and replace me" McGloin (his real name
Things didn't start off particularly well for the Scranton Gunslinger, as he threw an interception and fumbled while taking a sack from Geno Atkins. However, Moxie would bounce back and throw two touchdowns after leading his team on drives of 50+ yards to end this one. The Raiders came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard, but all things considered, it was a solid 2015 debut for McGloin.
There aren't any immediately noticeable breakdowns of McGloin's performance on SB Nation's Raiders site, Silver and Black Pride, but the comment section doesn't seem too pleased with his performance. But what do they know? They're Raiders fans.
Linebacker U Showdown in San Francisco
When the Vikings and the 49ers took the field in Santa Clara on Monday night at Levi's Stadium, it pitted two former members of Linebacker U against each other. On one side of the field, all-everything inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman got his first NFL game action since injuring his knee in the 2013 NFC Championship game.
Bowman had quite the night, picking up 7 tackles (all solo), 1 sack and 1 pass defended. It was also Bowman's first game since his former partner, Patrick Willis, retired. Bowman is in a new position now as the true, leader of the defense. Niners Nation has a great breakdown of his return and his new role.
On the other side, Gerald Hodges made his first NFL start at middle linebacker for the Vikings. This is obviously a change from the role he played at Penn State, where he was an outside linebacker (and originally a safety, and sometime a kick returner!).
The Vikings defense got schooled, though. The Daily Norseman seems to think Hodges is better suited at an outside position, rather than the middle linebacker role he's been forced into as a result of Chad Greenway's sharp decline in play.
And playing Gerald Hodges out of position at the Mike only seemed to exacerbate issues last night. It's too early to call the Hodges move a failure; that would be the most over reaction-y thing in a game that bred over reactions. I thought the Vikings linebackers were at their best last season with Hodges, Audie Cole, and Anthony Barr. Barr and Hodges seem best suited to pass coverage and lateral pursuit to the outside, and Cole is decent, but not great, as a Mike.
Hodges finished the night with 8 tackles (5 solo).
Also of note, Sean Lee of the Cowboys finished the night with 9 tackles (7 solo) and 1 tackle for loss. As Blogging the Boys said, "Sean Lee looked like the Sean Lee of old."